E: I just know my brother is going to complain about this week’s recap. Let’s just say that our searches – the searches people use to find this site – are going to be filled with more colorful language than usual. But oh well. Take a grown up show, add Sarah Silverman, and voila! A post full of nasty search terms.
And pain. Did I mention pain? There were buckets and even boatloads of pain, in addition to a few less obvious emotions.
Also, is it hideously crass of me to observe that Maria Shriver left her (allegedly) philandering politician husband the week Alicia left hers? The timing is kind of fascinating.
“Okay,” a voice speaks in the darkness. The void is filled with Nancy Crozier’s wholesome face and golden tresses. Nancy Crozier! My second most favorite opposing counsel! Excellent. “This will mostly be about …sex” The S hisses as she lingers over the word. She nods confidingly. “I need to know if that’s going to make anybody uncomfortable.” What, does she think this is a jury pool full of nuns? And she is addressing a jury pool. “It’s okay if it does. This stuff makes me feel wiggly.” She shudders “That’s what my mom used to call it.” She shrugs adorably, looking up at the ceiling. “Wiggly toes.” It is totally disturbing to me – but also very fitting – that Nancy Crozier’s mother had a cutesy term for feeling uncomfortable in sexually charged discussions. It’s fun of them to bring up Crozier’s mother, though, when actress Mamie Gummer’s mom is the most famous thing about her.
“This is a simple matter of contract law,” Will smirks. Oh, dude, I don’t think that’s the winning face right there. At least we’re getting close up of your handsome tie. “I’m sorry to refute the sexual tease of my opposing counsel, but what I need to know is can you judge my client, an independent business owner, fairly?” He points to Sarah Silverman, sitting in the defendant’s bench. Howdy, Sarah!
“Sex outside of marriage,” Nancy tells the jury. Heavens! Alert the Vatican! “Sex with more than one partner.” Aaand, hmm, suddenly we have movement – about three new folks appear in the jury box. “Sexual bondage.” A few more jurors swap out. Looks like there were more nuns in the pool than I’d have guessed. “I keep imagining my parents listening to this…” Oh, seriously?
“Sure, I can be fair,” a bald man in a blue oxford shirt and brown jacket insists. “We business people all struggle with the same things, be it sex or office supplies.” This sweaty guy looks a little too pleased to be there showing how down with the getting down he can be. Will wants him, but of course Nancy doesn’t. “What if her business were devoted to something illegal, would that change your mind?” “What, like prostitution?” He seems a little uncertain here. “Her website, SideEncounters.com, is dedicated to helping spouses who want to cheat.” Well, ick. That’s not going to be generally sympathetic. I’m still not sure how it’s illegal, though. Immoral, clearly, but illegal? Sarah Silverman plays with her wedding band. Baldy thinks his wife would disapprove, but – despite it making him feel a little hot under the collar – he still feels like he could be fair. “Everybody has to make a living!” Nancy wants to challenge him for cause. What, seriously? If he said he couldn’t consider the defendant fairly because of job, that would be cause to dismiss him. This just means he’s not predisposed against her.
Will whispers furiously to the judge (has Nancy used up all her challenges for cause?), but Nancy whispers her ideas at the same time. The judge, covering his microphone, insists the trial is not going to get out of hand. Mmmm. Good luck with that, Lance Ito. Actually, that’s cousin Ira from Mad About You as the judge. Awesome. “I’ll allow Mrs. Crozier’s challenge for cause.” What, seriously? Are you a loon? “It’s Miss Crozier.” “Oh. I’m sorry, Miss.” Ira snorts. “It’s alright. I’m looking if that’s any consolation.” Erm – does that qualify as hitting on the judge? Which, ew. Will’s face here is priceless. “Anyway,” the judge ignores the odd comment, “Miss Crozier, Mr. Gardner, you’re both arguing your case through voir dire, which I strenuously object to.”
And yet, despite his insistence, Crozier asks for permission to use “sexual images” from SideEncounters.com. “She’s turning this into a law suit about sex,” Will snaps. “Uh,” Nancy puzzles, “maybe it’s just me, but this is a law suit about sex.” Will disagrees. “The husband of your client …” Ah, now we’re getting into the thick of things, “used my client’s website to arrange a date and ended up dead, that’s all.” That’s all? The widow glares at Sarah – still fiddling with her ring – through red eyes. “It could have been a website about antiquing.” Fair point. And, hee. “But it wasn’t,” Nancy reminds us, “it was about infidelity.” Will wants to introduce the police’s investigation, setting a brown folder in front of Judge Ira. Should they really be doing all this in voir dire? They shouldn’t, right? Nancy says the investigation didn’t lead anywhere (hence lawsuit, I suppose), and the judge wants to know how Will got his hands on it.
Inside the folder is a gruesome crime scene photo of one 30 year old Sean Briglio, found in the St. Martin Hotel, black leather binding his plum white flesh, “Handcuffed, ball gag in his mouth, with his penis severed from his body.” OUCH. And wow, that’s a lot of blood. The information comes through Cary, who’s going over the case with Kalinda. Of course. She shoots him a look over the photo. “Yes, it’s making me wince even thinking about it.” It should be noted that he is not wincing at all. He’s smirking, and Kalinda’s smirking back. It’s so good that they get each other’s sense of humor. “His severed member was found in the ice bucket.” (See, this is what I mean about search terms.) Kalinda doesn’t believe it. “No, in the ice bucket with champagne.” Wow. You do have to kind of laugh at that (and then feel embarrassed by being so publicly heartless.) “There’s probably a joke to be made about shrinkage, but I won’t go there.” “I think you just did,” Kalinda grins. Heh.
“The date he arranged on your client’s ..ugh.. lovely website was with a Cynthia R.” Alrighty then. Kalinda makes a note of it. “That’s a fake name.” Gee, really? There’s an inelegant pile of folders and boxes behind Cary’s head. “And her handle is PrettySpecial9. Alrighty. They traced the ip address to a shop in Winetka but lost the trail there. We get to see a flash of a user pic next to the username – a woman’s wet red lips and teeth, with – well, there’s something just as red on the bottom lip, which is a little confusing looking. The victim’s previous dates all have alibis. “It’s still an open investigation.” Cary clicks his pen closed. “Like Jimmy Hoffa, huh?” Kalinda teases. “I imagine if Jimmy Hoffa’s penis was found in a hotel ice bucket, the Chicago police would be looking just as hard for his killer.” Ha! Sorry, that was awesome. Kalinda’s got a wicked grin on her face. Cary explains that they’re trying to connect this case to a female killer in Texas who likes to excise her victim’s members. He mumbles this bit into his coffee mug. “A serial castrator.” “Thanks, Cary,” Kalinda smiles, “always a pleasure.” Cary smiles back.
“Hey,” he says, changing tacks. “I’m staying put.” “You’re staying put? Where?” “Here.” Kalinda’s intrigued. “Peter Florrick wants you?” Cary understands her surprise. “Yeah, isn’t that odd, I would have thought my competition with his wife would have made me persona non grata.” Kalinda would have thought so too. Pay attention, Kalinda. This is starting to look like a warning to me. “He didn’t seem to care that Alicia and I aren’t on the best of terms.” Message received, Cary. Because that very clearly was a warning. Kalinda nods. “Read into that what you will.” He drinks from the aqua mug again, and she nods tightly.
A door slams, and Alicia looks terrified. “Okay,” says David Lee. Oh, wow. He grunts a bit before beginning. “This is a monastery, Alicia, and I’m a priest. Whatever you tell me does not leave here. It’s not altruism, it’s pragmatism. I don’t have a practice unless it’s discreet.” She’s got her black leather folder clasped to her chest – classic defensive posturing if ever I’ve seen it – but she leaps right in. “I’m separating from my husband.” There. She’s said it. To a divorce attorney. Lee meets her gaze frankly for a moment, then reaches behind him for a small leather bound notebook. Lot of things are leather bound in this episode, no? Sorry, couldn’t resist. He’s ready to take notes: “these notes are for me, I keep them under lock and key.” She doesn’t protest. “So you’re looking for a divorce lawyer?” She shakes her head, befuddled. “No, we’re separating.” “But you will divorce,” Lee presses. Thanks for stepping in here for us, David! I wanted to get into this distinction myself. How can she tell him there’s no hope and not have that mean she’s ready to divorce him? She looks stricken. “I don’t know, yet, I haven’t decided yet.”
He tries a new tact. “You’re worried about it going public?” Yes, that’s right. “I want to protect myself.” “Financially?” “Yes. I want to know what to do to protect myself.” Peter’s made no money over the last two years, so there won’t be any of that. “I’ve been the supporter.” Lee notes that Peter’s a month away from holding down a $225,000 a year office. “You’d actually be better off waiting until next year to divorce.” She’s profoundly uncomfortable. “David, let’s forget this.” His phone rings, bringing a directive for her to go upstairs, and she rises, obediently, to go. “Alicia, I don’t know your personal situation, and frankly I don’t wanna know – my tolerance for mess is minimal. But I can tell you this. You are like me. You like plans, you like lists.” Wow, that’s kind of awesome insight into her, and so evocative of last year’s passionate “show me the plan” speech! “So, make a list of your income, your expenses, and his, and all relevant tax returns, bring it to me, and I’ll make you a list of everything you need to do to protect yourself, okay?” She nods. This, she can handle. “Within the firm we can call it the … Cole divorce, something I asked you to work on with me.” Peter Lorre there, he’s got a bigger heart than I thought. Of course, his job – the part of his job where he deals with client’s personal lives – calls for more tact than we’ve ever actually seen him display. It’s nice to see that he can do it.
“Okay,” she smiles at him, and he smiles back. “Thanks,” she adds from the door. “Oh. No thanks. You’re paying me now. That was one billable hour. I round up.” Riiight. From a single minute, that’s a lot of rounding.
“The bottom line is, it’s a cold case, a year old unsolved murder investigation.” There are even more gruesome crime scene photos strewn all over the conference table. The one of the dude’s head with the ball gag in his mouth? Particularly disturbing. “Now the police suspect that the vic was picked up from the site SideEncounters.com, but there’s no proof.” Will nods to Diane. “So our best bet is to play into that ambiguity. How can our client be responsible if the police haven’t absolutely concluded that it’s from her site?” Well, yes. That’s a big problem for Miss Crozier, isn’t it? This is when Alicia arrives. Oh good, says Diane, “we’re going to trial on SideEncounters and we need you to take on a more prominent role.” “We didn’t get the jury we wanted,” Will confesses (which still doesn’t make sense to me, frankly- what was Judge Ira thinking?) “and our client’s ‘product’ isn’t exactly sympathetic.” You can say that again! Diane follows up with a command. “Plaintiff’s attorney is playing up the sex and infidelity angle so we need you to take first chair.” Oh, lovely. “Because my husband cheated on me?” Alicia asks, disarming Diane with her honesty. “Well, yes,” Diane admits after shooting a quick look to Will. It’s so pesky when subordinates don’t let you use them without commenting on it first. “We think it might work on the jurors who recognize you.” “You alright with that?” Will wonders – challenges her, really. Yes sir! She makes it sound like no trouble at all.
Of course, being in the same room with Kalinda, sitting across from her without meeting her eyes? After doing that, standing up for infidelity in court must seem pretty tame.
First up, a meeting with the offensive client. “They’re gonna wanna use you as a punching bag, so we’re going to to want to limit your time in court.” Sarah Silverman nods in understanding. “Also, we’re going to need some more sessions of witness prep. You’re their biggest witness, they’re gonna wanna put you on the stand.” “Cause I’m unsympathetic,” Sarah agrees. “Yes,” Alicia answers, flatly but not unkindly, turning to write on her legal pad. You know, Alicia’s empathic, but she’s also really dignified and reserved, so this is an interesting place to put her, fidelity issues aside. “And you’re supposed to rub off on me? The jury sees you being friendly to me and they think I must be … tolerable?” Now Alicia does seem friendly, her mouth quirked in something at least dimly related to a smile. “Hopefully a little more than tolerable, but, yes.”
“It’s funny, I think of myself as very sympathetic,” Silverman whines in her high, nasal voice. Now I’m making her sound less sympathetic, but she really does have a very particular voice. Alicia’s worried about Sarah’s posture when she looks at the plaintiff. “Do you feel bad for her?” She does. “I feel bad that her husband’s dead. I don’t think she’s suing me because he’s dead, I think she’s suing me because he used my website to cheat and she blames me.” Yep, that’s probably true. I wonder if you could sue a website for causing your divorce? “You don’t think she should blame you?” No she does not. “You blame the beer for the DUI?” If you’re Jamie Foxx you do! “No,” says Alicia, proving definitively she is not Jamie Foxx, “but I might blame the bartender.”
“Dang, I thought you were on my side,” Sarah growls, disappointed. “I am on your side,” Alicia replies. “But the best way to be on your side is to see how the other side thinks.” So true. I don’t think its very hard for you, though, Alicia. “That’s what lawyers do,” Sarah says, as if experiencing a revelation. “That’s how I do it,” Alicia tells her client, staring at her own notes, totally turned away, hardly able to look at Sarah. After a beat of silence, Sarah decides to lean in for some small talk. “You know there’s a porn movie about you?” Oh God. (Alicia doesn’t say that. That’s me.) “No, I didn’t know. ” “There’s a porn movie about you.” Only Sarah Silverman could make that sound so worthy of congratulations. “All the wives standing by their husbands. It’s a trilogy, actually, it’s like Lord of the Rings.” Sarah’s blythe delivery of this bit of completely horrific news is just beautiful. She laughs to herself. “There seems to be a whole subdivision of erotica devoted to devoted wives.” Does she seriously think this is reasonable conversation? This is how she gets Alicia to make her sympathetic? “Good to know,” Alicia responds, hoping to put a quick chill on the topic, but Sarah becomes even more inappropriately expansive. “I hope you’re not offended. Men masturbate to the thought of you. It’s almost an honor when you think of it.” Oh, God. Sarah’s genuinely pleased by that idea. “No, even when I think of it, it’s not an honor.” Hee.
That’s as much as Alicia can take. Sarah prances out daintily after her. “Alicia, wait. I can’t stand to lose my husband or my kids’ money.” Alicia’s immediately interested, and her voice defrosts. A lot. How many kids does Sarah have? 3. “Good. I can build on that.” “Really? One of them has a buck tooth, it’s adorable.” Hee. And that’s really enough for now.
But, hmm, that’s an odd dilemma. If there’s a porn movie made about you, do you have to watch it?
Alicia’s got a smile for Sarah which disappears immediately when – yikes. She notices Kalinda, in an office on the phone. Immediately, her face clenches and she turns away, breathing hard, or as hard as she dares in public. But with the oxygen comes courage and determination, and Alicia spins again, ready to face her friend. Should I say former friend? Why does that hurt more than saying ex-husband? She composes herself. And then she walks.
Oh. Kalinda’s in Alicia’s office. That’s – good? Invasive and private at the same time?
As Alicia walks into the room, Kalinda sets the phone down. “No, no, no – I’ll get back to you,” she says, clicking the handset down into the receiver. “That’s Cary,” she tells Alicia, following her friend’s example as she sits. Don’t you feel like Alicia could drill a hole into her desk with her eyes? Kalinda chatters about Cary’s cold case. “So what’s up?” she asks finally. “No, Kalinda, no,” Alicia bites, her eyes still trained on her paperwork. Kalinda’s suddenly still.
“What?” she asks.
Alicia turns, slowly, slowly. Her lips are pursed and she’s chewing on the inside of them, as if deciding just which darts to shoot and what sort of poison tips to put on them. “We both work here,” she begins. “We’re both going to continue to work here. So let’s not talk.” The snideness, the bitterness of the last sentence takes my breath away.
Kalinda, looking grave, utters her friend’s name.
“No. You don’t explain anything. You do not put a single thing in context.” Kalinda draws her head back, hurt. Alicia just looks.
“You slept with my husband.” Now instead of fire, there’s water; Alicia’s close to tears, looking away, whispering. “You do not say anything, you do not. It is selfish to say anything after that.”
She looks back at Kalinda, gaining momentum. “I work here and you work here, but that’s it.” She inhales a loud, shaky breath. “When you can find another case, do it. When you can walk the other way, do. Now get out of my office.” She turns, wiping her nose with the back of her hand. She sniffs loudly. Kalinda tilts her head, her face filled with regret and distress, her mouth open, searching for some sort of magic word. But now Alicia’s angry again.
“Kalinda,” she starts, low and fast, interrupting herself with shuddering, weepy breaths, “there are so many people who can see us right now, but I swear … I will scream… at the top of my lungs … if you don’t get out of my office now.” Kalinda looks for another anguished moment, and stumbles to collect her notebook. Blink those tears back, Alicia.
Kalinda staggers through the office to the elevator as if she doesn’t know how to walk in her wicked boots anymore. As the doors close, her head starts bobbing as she struggles to hold back the sobs just a moment longer. Tough chick Kalinda weeps alone in the elevator, gasping.
“Hello, Grace. I brought your favorite!” Jackie’s outside the Florrick apartment, bearing a tupperware type container enticingly. Eeek! I wish the Jaws soundtrack was playing here; it’s Jackie’s theme song! Actually, the other thing it reminds me of is Hannibal Lector murmuring “Hello, Clarice.” “I know your Mom hasn’t wanted me to help out around here anymore, but I don’t think she’ll begrudge my lemon muffins!” Jackie’s set the very yellow muffins on a plate and put them on the island. What a disingenuous wretch. No wonder she assumes that Alicia will attempt to poison the children against their father; it seems to be her first instinct to subtly snipe at their mother. “Hey, Grandma,” Zach greets her casually, grabbing a glass and getting something to drink out of the fridge. How are they doing? “Good,” Grace says. “Yeah, we’re good,” Zach adds, turning from his investigations in the fridge. “I’ll tell your Dad,” Jackie trills. “He’s just so torn up.” Just so torn up that he forgot how to use a phone and ask them how they are himself? “Yeah,” Zach replies as he pours himself some milk, “Mom says he’s in an apartment?”
Jackie’s voice is martyred, aggrieved. “Yes, she moved him there. I think it’s comfortable. It’s awful, though, how quick it was. I didn’t see it coming.” You know, if she weren’t so nasty, I might actually feel for her, because is was quick, and I could see how it would be baffling, and it’s certainly normal for a mother to care about her son’s marriage and permissable for her to be broken up. But she’s also a nasty interfering old bat attempting to manipulate kids, so I can’t. “Yeah. We’re good though.” Way to stick to the party line, Zach. Jackie places a muffin in front of Grace (whom she used to think was too heavy, remember?) and gives her a calculating look. “You wouldn’t know what your mother was thinking, would you?” Jackie, you total slime, pumping these kids for information!
Grace looks over at Zach in alarm. Anyone else think Grace looks particularly pretty here? More done up that usual, but still very fresh faced, with a beautiful blue top on. “She said they’d give it a try, but it was just too much for them.” Jackie uses her little girl voice to spread more poison. “I don’t know why they can’t try and stay in the same place. Just… it just seems odd.” “It’s just between Mom and Dad,” Zach interjects, and I don’t think I’ve ever liked him more than I do in this conversation. “Yes, but it’s about you two too.” So true, Jackie, but what it clearly isn’t is about you. “I don’t think we should talk about it,” Grace agrees. Go, Grace! I’m so proud of you for standing up to her! Jackie glares her displeasure.
“Alicia!” That can only be Nancy Crozier’s perky voice, calling to Alicia in the courtroom hallway – and look, it is. Both women have enormous fake smiles plastered on their face. “Oh, I’m so thrilled you’ll be digging into this!” Nancy’s face falls. “We left things so unresolved the last time.” “I know,” agrees Alicia, “and I felt bad about how that came down.” That’s too much for sweet little Nancy to comprehend. “Came d… what do you mean?” “How I beat you last time,” Alicia challenges her foe. Nancy laughs, and Alicia trots her fake smile out in return. “Oh, you’re so funny.”
“Sean and I had this tradition on our anniversary. We’d just break open some champagne and watch our wedding video.” Mrs. Briglio – who still looks on the verge of tears – beams from the witness stand. Can you really wax about how sweet and romantic your marriage was? Mustn’t that all feel like a lie now? Talk about devoted wives… “I know,” she grins in mock humility, “old fashioned.” “No, it sounds beautiful,” Nancy Crozier insists. Nancy’s wearing white. “I hate to get to this, but when did you first learn that your husband was having affairs on SideEncounters.com?” Not to be a stickler for grammar, but he wasn’t having these dalliances – I’d hesitate to dignify them with the term affair – online. He was having them in reality. I see why she’s consciously linking the name with the action, but it seems to me it paints a milder picture of what the guy was doing wrong, like he was sexting or something. ” When the police came to my house to tell me Sean had been murdered.”
Wow. That’s awful.
“If it’s not too hard for you, what did they tell you?” Nancy’s voice is tiny, delicate. Kind of like Jackie’s, actually. “They showed me his profile…” Mrs. Briglio replies, her voice low and throbbing. “on…her website.” We see Sarah in the court again. Hurry up and give us her character’s name, huh? Nancy clicks up Sean’s profile; his username is DoubleShot29. Lovely. How did the police find that so fast that they could tell her about it and his murder in the same instance? That seems quite unlikely, don’t you think? Mrs. B confirms this, her eyes pinched tight to ward off tears. “I would like to show more photos of Mr. Briglio but I understand that we need to warn…” Yes, they do.
Judge Ira takes over -oh, and actually, his name turns out to be Cyril Handley. Seriously? “Ah, the images you are about to see are of a strong sexual nature, and if anyone wants to leave, please feel free to do so.” The jurors lean forward in their seats instead, and the 6 people watching in the gallery don’t move. Nancy starts clicking, and forces Mrs. B to identify pictures of her husband from his gallery (woah, that’s a horrific and also monumentally stupid idea. Want to lose everything you have in a divorce? Publish photos of yourself cheating! David Lee would love this) on SideEncounters.com. Nancy’s head obscures part of the screen, but we see an orgasm face, lots of naked skin and lots of back leather. Both Alicia and a middle aged female juror evidence disgust – perhaps, in part, for the lost privacy of the dead.
“And this is him with another woman?” Strong sexual content; yep, looks like it. The woman pulls Sean’s head and hair back; there’s a studded collar around his neck. “And this is him with two women.” Judge Handley tilts his head to get a better view. Mrs. Briglio doesn’t know the women; he found them online. Alicia and Will share annoyed glances. “And had your husband ever cheated on you before learning about this website?” Alicia objects on grounds of hearsay, and Cyril Handley – when he can tear himself away from the photo on the screen – sustains her objection. “Sorry that’s so objectionable. But you were happy, Dana? I think it’s okay if I ask that much?” Dana Briglio, she was happy. “I’m not saying our marriage was perfect, but we always told the truth to each other.” Her face scrunches up with tears again. “Until he found this site.”
Oh dear lord. I think it’s highly unlikely that he told you the truth about himself if you didn’t know he liked threesomes and getting whipped, honey. The website didn’t give him those particular desires. I just don’t think that’s how it works. It’s also unlikely that the website actively sought his patronage. He’s just as likely to have looked for it than seen it in an ad. Did the website make it easier for him to cheat? Obviously. And that’s gross. But the case seems to be conflating his particular kinks with the cheating, and if I were Alicia I’d have maybe used that fact when talking to the wife. In fact, I feel like she’s totally laid herself open with that line. I mean, really. If nothing else, the dude was a liar, she has no idea how much he cheated (since she didn’t find out he’d cheated at all before he died) and the basis of their marriage is a lie. But maybe that’s unlikable to point out. I don’t know. Me? Not a lawyer.
“Those pictures are very upsetting. I’m sorry,” Alicia apologizes as she crosses the room to cross examine Mrs Briglio. Dana gives weepy thanks as Kalinda enters the courtroom. “Mrs. Briglio, who’s Gina Wiggins?” “My husband didn’t sleep with her,” Dana overreacts. “I know. I’m just wondering who she is,” Alicia replies calmly. “She’s a coworker at his school.” His school? Wait, this dude was a teacher? Gross. Grody grody grossness. Not that it’d be any better if he was, I don’t know, a guidance councilor or principal or admissions worker or janitor. Man, that’s the wrong profession to have darker sexual appetites with, dude; you’d really have to spend serious effort hiding your interests. Kalinda passes Will some paper; he frowns intently, reading it. “She was always clinging to him.” “Didn’t Miss Wiggins bring a restraining order against your husband?” The jury members crane their necks. “Sean was the victim there.” Oh, right, of course he was. Lying to yourself again, honey? “She pursued him.”
“That’s what your husband told you.” “Yes,” Dana insists, leaning forward, angry. “And it’s true.” Really? How do you know? “Because your husband always told you the truth until he found Stephanie’s website?” Yes, we have a name for Sarah’s character! “Yes!” Dana snaps. I bet she left nail marks in the arms of that chair. Well, okay, that was pretty effective, but in both directions;the jury’ supposed to have sympathy, but the audience, not so much.. Alicia walks over to Will and waves Kalinda’s paper at Dana.
“This is a certified copy of the restraining order against your husband, have you read it?” No, of course not. Alicia would like her to read it now, but she doesn’t want to. “I took an oath and I kept it. I took an oath to trust him.” Hmm. If you interpret your oath as willful ignorance – I mean, she’s kind of saying that her husband couldn’t lie to her, because whatever he says she’s oathbound to consider the truth. Nancy doodles on her legal pad as Kalinda watches from the gallery.
Sean started up on SideEncounters.com in January of 2009. When was the restraining order granted? “That doesn’t mean anything – she’s lying!” Dana gasps. Oh, honey. You poor, deluded woman. how irrational is this jury that mistrust for Sarah – that is to say, Stephanie – and her website might lead them to play Dana’s game of willful blindness?
This time when a gavel bangs, it’s at an art auction, where a Jackie-like auctioneer stars the bidding for an 1860s era painting at 250k. What’s Kalinda doing here? A blond woman answers the question, calling out her full (fake) name. As has been widely reported, it’s Kelli Giddish of Chase, looking weirdly like Kirsten Dunst with her updo and round cheek bones. “Sophia! I almost didn’t recognize you under cover.” They smirk at each other. “So I should have known,” Sophia says, glancing at the auction. “You a big fan of pre-Raphaelites?” Not that the painting – and impressionistic landscape – looks remotely pre-Raphaelite, but point taken. Kalinda jokes that she’s looking for home furnishing; Sophia confesses that she’s investigating a banker. “The one on the end, the guy with the girl,” she says archly, nodding toward a florid man in a gray suit with a much younger woman (read: bimbo) at his side. The company thinks he’s bidding with blank checks. What the hell does that mean?
Whatever. None of that’s the point.
“Really? Sounds fun.”
“Don’t patronize me,” Sophia smirks. She’s very smirky. They’re smirky together. “Seriously, sounds fun.” Kalinda replies, and Sophia narrows her eyes, giving Kalinda her full attention. “Now, come on, I asked you to come join me – I begged you to come join me, and you said corporate investigation wasn’t for you.” This is just the kind of role where there’s really nothing in the lines. It’d Giddish giving a character, and she’s distinctive. This show does everything right. “I changed my mind.” “And you said you’d never change your mind.” “I was wrong.” Wow. Kalinda’s job hunting. Ouch.
“Take my position,” Sophia says, eyes narrowed, biting down on her thumb. The two women walk through the very upscale auction house, and Kalinda says she’s ready for a change. Why not the State’s Attorney’s Office? Kalinda of course can’t say why. “This sounded better.” “So I was your second call,” Sophia huffs, which of course she wasn’t. Well, at least it’s obvious Kalinda would not want to work for Peter. “Offended?” she challenges. “No. Confused.” She gives Kalinda the once over. “They won’t let you wear what you’re wearing. It’s a very corporate world.” Kalinda shrugs; she can adapt. Kalinda, in grey suits and kitten heels instead of her leather vests and boots? Yikes. Sophia smiles hesitantly. “Well I just started a new white collar division.” “I’m in,” Kalinda jumps. “Don’t you want to think about it?” She just did. She thought about it yesterday. She wants out bad. And that’s what Kalinda does, isn’t it? She runs away from all those messy emotional consequences. Sophia’s surprised and still wary.
“That’s not what I said!” Stephanie yells, throwing her hands in the air. “Yes it is,” Alicia replies coolly. “In your promotional material, you’re quoted as saying that your website allows couples to have affairs without cheating.” “I was talking about biology. Monogamy is unnatural. It forces the body to do something it wasn’t meant to do!” Stephanie-Sarah’s gesticulating grandly, exasperated with all the plebes who don’t get it. Like, you know, Dana Briglio. And Alicia. “Be committed.” “No, be monogamous.”
“Have you used your website?” Saraphanie tilts her head. “Have I, yes.” “So you’ve cheated on your husband.” “It’s not cheating when we know exactly where we are, we know exactly who we’re dating.” “And your husband approves.” Stephanie’s not giving up her ground. “Not only does he approve, I approve when he wants to date someone.” Well, that’s big of you. I do wonder for a minute if she means a general approval or specific veto power, but I think it has to be the former. “So if having an affair keeps a marriage from being based on a lie, why do you have a panic button on your website?” Whahuh? My first thought is, gosh, why wouldn’t you just call 911 if you felt threatened? In what kind of situation would that be the best way to get help? “Why does your website have a button to hide the page in case anyone is looking?” OH. Okay, that’s embarrassing. “You don’t have to share my philosophy to use my website.” Well, yes, enforcing that would be a bit problematic.
Alicia – who’d be pacing – sits down. Her mouth has been pinched together for almost the entire conversation. “Ooooph,” Stephanie jokes, “You give good prep. I wanna lit a cigarette.” It’s worth noting that while Alicia gave a thunderous argument, it’s not anywhere near Nancy Crozier’s cross examination style. Isn’t that more what she should have been aiming for, rather than simply venting her own feelings? Not in here, Alicia replies humorously. “I was joking,” Stephanie says quietly, shivering in the chill of Alicia’s disapproval. “Don’t delve too deeply into your philosophy,” Alicia begins the note giving portion of witness prep. Stephanie sits attentively, like a perfect school child. Or a puppy. “You have to offer context, but briefly. Makes you sound like a crank.” Stephanie bites her lip and nods. “Okay,” she says, smoothing her hair back. Then Alicia looks up from her notes with a peculiarly frank look on her face, and Stephanie’s immediately wary. “What?”
“I don’t get it,” Alicia tells her client, not yelling anymore yet still standing her ground. Stephanie reads Alicia’s face, slowly. “You don’t get how I can sleep with other people besides my husband?” Yes, that. “Why even get married?” Here, Stephanie’s face glows. “I love him,” she shrugs. “Yes,” says Alicia carefully, “but what does that have to do in this context.” Odd construction, but okay. “It means I wanna spend more time with him than any other man or woman.” She raises her hand to Alicia, half shrugging. “I don’t understand the reverse. How can you have sex with just one man? Why would you want to do anything, play cards, go sailing, go fishing, whatever, with just one person?” She’s making more really large gestures. “Because it would hurt them not to.”
“Yes,” replies Stephanie slowly, “yes, but that’s not about love, it’s about fear.” I’m not following. Whose fear? The fear of the cheater to hurt, or the, er, cheatee to be hurt or to be unfavorably compared to someone new? Either way, isn’t it loving to want to spare your partner hurt? She looks at Alicia like she’s just said something irrefutable. “That’s about jealousy. If you love someone, don’t you set them free?” So, that’s inappropriate jealousy on the part of the spouse? It’s wrong of them not to want you to share your favors? Alicia stares at Stephanie, incredulous. “No.” Hee. Me neither. “You like to tie them down?” “Yes, basically,” Alicia laughs.
Stephanie decides on a new tact, giving us the attention grabbing line from the promos. “Aren’t there men you look at, and you just watch them, in a Starbucks line, opening a door, tying there shoes… and you just want to grab their hand and slide it up the small of your back?” Alicia’s captivated despite herself. “Or feel someone else’s kiss on your skin, taste someone else’s tongue? The pleasure of someone else’s orgasm?” Oh, God, the search terms. “Don’t you want that?” They stare at each other.
Alicia blinks first.
“I have to go,” she says. “Good work!” The tiny smile on Stephanie thin mouth makes it clear she knows she’s scored a hit.
And she has. Back in her darkened apartment, Alicia sits on her perfectly made bed. She pulls the Chicago Magazine bachelor issue out of her nightstand and turns to the page that features Will. Her gaze intensifies, and becomes something more sexy, more confident.
At the office, Will sits at his desk. He’s in a meeting. So is she. He catches Alicia, now out in the open space conferring with others, giving him her smokey, sexy stare. She smiles, and he smiles back. He has no idea what to do with it. He can’t even tell that she’s looking at him. You okay?, he mouths. She is.
The phone rings as Cary walks into his tiny office. “You look tired,” he tells Kalinda, who’s been waiting for him. He pats her on the shoulder as he moves around his desk. What’s going on with those two and the kiss? Is he no longer panting for her? He spent most of last season trying to get with her, but now – are they just too important to each other to go there? What gives, seriously? Kalinda wants to know why he called her and asked her to come get details about the Sean Briglio murder when he’s not actually telling her anything. He stonewalls. Very weird. “Oh, yeah, no, I just wanted to see if you had anything for me.” Riight. That makes sense. A colleague knocks on Cary’s door, and when he heads out to the hall for a quick confab, Kalinda combs his desk for the info he’s clearly hiding. Of course she does. Just because he’s her friend doesn’t mean she’s not going to rifle through his things, especially if he seems like he’s hiding something! She doesn’t find any amazing new evidence, but what she does find? A legal pad with cutesy doodles all along the margins. There are little hearts! Eek! Why on earth would Cary meet with her? He was just working with Kalinda!
Immediately Kalinda’s on the phone, calling Alicia, begging her to pick up, warning her that an unpleasant surprise is coming. Alicia, of course, sees who’s calling and doesn’t pick up. Call Will, Kalinda! He’s sitting right there too! But no. Not so sensible now.
“I’m pretty old fashioned, so you’re going to have to walk me through this,” Nancy Crozier poses. Stephanie, finally on the stand, is a bit sly. “I don’t think you’re that old fashioned,” she smirks. “Really?” Nancy replies brightly, looking absolutely delighted, “thank you!” Oh, she’s good. “Walk me through this – what is a triad?” An open marriage with three partners. How is that remotely relevant? It isn’t. Object, damn you! Nancy acts like she’s been hit in the head – she swirls around in place a little looking disoriented. Hee. “Wow.” She closes her eyes and clasps her hands. “I’m just a Michigan girl.” She’s unclasped her hands, perhaps to delineate the narrow confines of sexuality in Michigan. “Fresh off the boat.” Alicia rolls her eyes and Will looks like he needs to wake himself up. You know, none of this has anything to do with the case. It’s all just prejudicial. Not that I’m a lawyer. “So, Miss Engler, let’s turn to the victim.” Stephanie Engler is quick to wave her ring in Nancy’s face and ask for the same sort of correction the episode started with. “Mrs Engler. Married – 6 years.” She gives a besotted wave to her husband in the gallery, a thick necked, stodgy man who proudly waves back.
“Sorry, Mrs. Engler, how did you know the victim, Sean Briglio.” Funny that she uses the word victim like they’re in a criminal trial, huh? “How did I know him? He used my site.” “You never met him in person?” Her ‘no’ is most emphatic. Nancy’s perplexed. She crosses her arms behind her back to show us this. Then she gets something off her table. “Aaaaand this credit card charge to the St. Martin’s February 16th 2010, who were you meeting then?” Uh, she doesn’t know? Uh oh. “Yeah,” Nancy replies, not so cutesy now. “You made a credit card charge to the St. Martin on the same day that Mr. Briglio was meeting one of his dates. ” Objection, Alicia roars. “Your Honor, what does this have to do with the plaintiff’s suit?” Ira/Cyril Handley concurs. “Yes, Miss Crozier, we seem to have run astray here.”
Kalinda runs frantically into the courtroom. “Well, your Honor, if Mrs. Engler met and slept with the victim, then this suit has even stronger merit?” Youch. Mr. Engler shakes his head unhappily. And again with the victim. As if she were suggesting that he was Stephanie’s victim. Except, I’m still not buying. He’d been using the site for a year by then, right? Engler didn’t personally lead him astray. He was already pretty far astray by then. Kalinda whisper’s in Will’s ear, and he asks for a recess. “But your Honor, I was just getting to the good part,” Crozier pouts. The judge thinks all this will be straightened out quickly – he seems to practically wink at someone to his right as he says this, though whether it’s Engler or Crozier or the jury there’s no telling. Nancy gives Stephanie a saucy look. It won’t be straightened out soon, Will tells Alicia – Engler’s the new murder suspect.
As he sits himself, Cary apologizes to Will and Diane for not having enough chairs to seat them. Oh, nice. This guy… “Then charge her. If you have something on her, then charge her.” Diane tries to cut through the red tape. Good luck with that, Diane. Will wants to know what his game is; “I don’t have a game,” Cary asserts,”it’s called prosecuting the bad guys.” Oh, nice. Again. “You’re feeding information to Crozier in a civil case against our client!” Will is not pleased. “Yes, and I understand your client lied about sleeping with him.” That’s not illegal, Diane protests. (Except, perjury definitely is illegal.) “Yes, but killing him would be,” Cary answers, matter of fact. Still impressed. I like it. “Come on, you think she killed him?” Diane’s exasperated. He thinks it’s a nice way to get someone else to finance the investigation. Fishing expeditions are us! Excellent. Will and Diane huff their way out the door. “Next time, call ahead guys, I’ll have cookies.” Hee.
“You slept with him, Stephanie?” Alicia’s asking the questions, but Will and Diane are sitting in. “He was into S&M – it was too hardcore. I told him not to contact me again.” Oh, not good. (But, couldn’t she tell that from his pictures? Which, by the way, show him as the submissive, don’t they, so unless Stephanie’s a dominant, why was she even there? And what could he have done that was so scary? Just saying. I might not be from Michigan, but I probably don’t want an actual answer.) Diane wants whatever Kalinda’s got. “As far as I can tell, the murder case now has heat. They were trying to connect Briglio’s case to a serial castrator in Texas, that’s how they overlooked our client.” Alicia stiffens and pointedly looks away as Kalinda walks near her.
In light of the new revelation, Will decides it’s necessary to change strategies. They need to starve Cary’s investigation, which means limiting her testimony. Saving her money on to see her accused of murder? No. Not a fair trade. “With your approval, Alicia will make a deal on the civil, and we’ll turn to defending the criminal.” Shell shocked Stephanie nods her approval.
“What’s going on with your buddy Cary? He seems intent on screwing us,” Will asks Kalinda as they speed into his office. She shuts the door behind them. She hesitates briefly. “I’m turning in my notice,” she tells him. “Yeah, okay,” he snickers, barely turning to look at her comment. “What’s the bump now, five percent?” No, she’s seriously. This is her two weeks. She gulps, a bit nervously, waiting for his reaction. His brows furrow, and his tone is a little dangerous. “I’m not getting into a bidding war.” “I’m not asking you to,” she replies. Now he crosses to her. “We’re going to make you head of a department, kay? We’re going to put you in charge of other investigators.”
“Look, Will, when you hired me, I told you when I’m done, I’m done. Well, I’m done.” Oh, she’s just like Mary Poppins or Nanny MacPhee; flitting off to magically help the next set of orphans. “I need to try something else.” He stares at her intently. “Where’re you going?” “I’ll help you find my replacement,” she says, and she leaves.
“Uuuuuuh, ummmm, not really,” Nancy Crozier passes her answer like it was a gall stone. “Don’t you want to take that offer back to your client?” No, she doesn’t. Dana already gave her their limit. And what might their acceptible amount be? Nancy opens her mouth, and then sort of slides back. “Ooops, you almost made me slip.” She smiles. “You have a loser case, Nancy. We’re offering you the insurance limit.” Ah, but they don’t want the insurance limit. “Where do you get your hair done? It’s so shiny.” Alicia won’t be distracted. “She’s not getting 11 million.” “I don’t know, this guy at the State Attorney’s office, he’s been super helpful. He’s been giving me a few names that maybe I should add to the witness list.” But unfortunately for Nancy and her little shenanigans, one of the assistants leads Grace down the stairs, and Alicia sprints out of the room like a gazelle. Or maybe just a mother lion.
“Grace? What’s wrong?” Grace is looking pretty adorable again, in a cute top with an interesting draped neckline. “Nothing.” “Is Zach all right?” He is. Grace is there because she wants to talk.
“Grace, we discussed this,” Alicia turns toward her daughter as she drives her – well, presumably back to school? This doesn’t look anything like their high rise neighborhood. Or even what we’ve seen of the school. And, what? Could she be talking about the separation? They are so clearly not Mediterranean, because when my family discusses things, more than one person talks. (Usually more than one person at a time.) She talked to them. That in no way qualified as a discussion, and hardly seems like something she ought to be mad about. The gall of Grace to want to know more about why the fundamental grounding relationship of her life seems to be ending! Um, also, has Alicia ever met a teenager? When you’re a teen, you can discuss how the boy you like held his fork for a good half an hour, or the way someone turned away from you in the hall and what it might mean. There’s no way you’re going to get off that easily, hon. And she doesn’t. “I know, it’s… it’s… I don’t get it.” “We’re separating,” is the brief answer, “we need to take a breath.” That’s what this is, a breath? You couldn’t breath in the same apartment? “I know other kids at school who are told that and it’s never true,” Grace pushes, and rightly. I still don’t understand how Alicia can tell Peter that there’s nothing he can do yet not be ready to divorce him. Unless it means there’s nothing he can do now? It’s baffling to me, and I’ve seen most of it happen, so I can’t even imagine what Grace and Zach – especially Grace, who questions everything – are feeling. “It’s just something parents tell them to make them feel better.”
Alicia pulls over on a wide street lined with enormous trees. “I love you Grace,” she tells her daughter. “Maybe you’re right. I don’t know. I’m hurting.” Okay, that’s a start, without too many gory details. “Can’t Dad help you with that?” “No,” Alicia says, infinitely gentle. “But Dad’s hurting too. He doesn’t understand.” Alicia crinkles her brows. “Dad came by?” Something changes in her voice – something which makes it clear that Peter paying attention to his kids would matter in her opinion of him. But no. “He called?” Again, no, and that infuriates me. How can he not have called? That coward. That ass. That big baby, nursing his own wounds alone. “Grandma told us. She came over.”
The effect of this revelation is very different.
“I shouldn’t have said. She told me not to say.” Grace sounds bitter. Since when do you take instruction from Jackie, Grace? Well. I guess she is only a very young fourteen. “Your grandmother … Grace, listen to me. Your Grandmother has issues, she’s lonely, she’ll be wanting to come over. I need you to call me when she does.” Oh, awful. Just awful. That might be the right thing to do to that interfering old bat, but oh, God, that she’s asking her sensitive child to do that… “Promise me you’ll call me?” Oh, that’s just awful.
David Lee hangs up on a phone call as Alicia bursts into his office. He starts with a long list of what she ought to be doing (a fascinating one, too – stop contributing to her 401k, really?) and advises her to delay her upcoming salary bump and so on. She’s not so fascinated. “Talk to me about custody.” He’s aghast. “Is it that serious?” “Talk to me about my options if I make it that serious.” Well.
“O-kay. Your children are both teenagers, and have a good deal of say in which parent to live with. More than you might think. Do not become the difficult parent. And you should document how much time you spend with the kids, and how little he does, and when I say document, I mean a journal.” I wonder if they’ve got an app for that? Sad, but I bet they do, or one that could be adjusted. Alicia looks frozen, but finally spits out her big concern. “What effect does a grandparent’s involvement have with that?” “Determining parental involvement? None.” Oh, thank God. You can hear her thinking that, thank God. David Lee looks at her with compassion. “Alicia, delay this fight.” “It’s not a fight.” Good, Lee says, don’t let it turn into one. “He’s worth more to you in the State’s Attorney’s office than out. I mean that on all levels. I’m speaking purely pragmatically – and, oddly, selflessly.” He has his hand pressed against his heart, testament to his good intentions. “Thank you,” she says, “I’m needed in court.”
In court, Cary’s watching from the gallery as Nancy Crozier interrogates the valet from the night of the murder. Is it just that I’m writing late at night, or do we not know where he might be valeting? Seems to be where the body was found, but, weird, because he remembers it being a terrible night, people screaming, the police everywhere, that kind of thing. It must be a hotel, but you wouldn’t think murder in a hotel would cause an outright panic because only the police would see the body, right? Oh, whatever. Maybe it was room service screaming. Point is, Mr. Valet saw a car “like this” – like Stephanie’s car – peeling out of the parking lot. When might that have been, anyway? Oh, whatever. Will finds out that the police came to the valet with the picture; the valet had never come forward on his own. “Thanks goodness that jogged your memory,” Will says (unfairly, but that’s his job). “Why are you here, and not helping the police arrest my client?” “I have no idea,” the valet says honestly.
“I’ve worked at the Copy Crater for – two years now?” the next of Cary’s surprises witnesses guesses. “I’m good with people.” He really doesn’t say with, though, he says ‘whuh’. He does very clearly identify Stephanie Engler as a costumer. Turns out this is where killer PrettySpecial9’s emails were sent from. Oh dear. “That’s where they found, the, um, …” “IP address?”Copy Crater guy offers. Oh yes, that new fangled thing. We don’t have those in Michigan. “Our little brush with fame,” he says. But no, Will gets him to admit that Stephanie wasn’t there on the actual day the emails were sent. Or, that is, he wasn’t, so he can’t place her at the scene. “All I can tell you is that she’s a customer, that’s all.” The carpet fibers found on the body? A detective explains that Engler’s house has some of that exact silk carpeting. Right. Well. That’s a nice circumstantial case there. “And yet I’m baffled as to why you’re here, detective,” Will snaps. “Can you answer me that?” “I can’t. All I can tell you is that the plaintiff subpoenaed me.” How is the judge letting all this into a civil trial again? Wasn’t he all “I’m not letting this get out of hand?” Handley, you’re letting me down! Will shoots Cary a deeply annoyed look.
“We need another suspect. See what you can do,” Will orders Kalinda in the court hallway. “Even a whiff of another suspect will help.” She’s got it, and she’s gone. “God, this pisses me off,” Will tells Alicia. “Do you think she did it?” Alicia wonders. “Stephanie. I don’t know. Doesn’t matter if she did.” Will’s walking again, full throttle. “The lawsuit’s still bogus.”
Outside the courtroom (in street parking no less – ha!) Nancy and Dana hug. Ah, they’re so very blond. Kalinda uses her phone to take a quick photo of Dana’s car.
Back at L&G, she uses the photo of the car – which suddenly looks like a glossy Audi ad – to photoshop Dana’s car into the oddly lit garage photo of Stephanie’s car on the night of the murder, and suddenly, Will has trouble telling the two apart. Clever, Kalinda. That’s the ghost of a suspect, anyway. Will gives his investigator a shark’s smile.
“You can’t be leaving me, Kalinda. You’re too good at this.” She sighs. “It’s time to move on,” she demurs. “What’re you, a Dylan song?” She laughs, lightly. “You said you had my back.” He’s a bit shy about saying this, but there’s emotion there. She looks at him seriously for several seconds. “What do you want from life, Will?” “What do I want?” He looks taken aback. “I don’t know. Suddenly this is about me?” He laughs, and she gives him a look that seems to me to say “grow up, buddy.” “You want the same things as Alicia?” Kalinda’s tone is flat. “Alicia? Uh – I…” His voice trails into silence, as he seriously considers that issue. “I don’t know. There’s a vast difference between us.” Wow. I kind of thought he’d blow that off. “Because she’s married?” “Yeah, for one. And she has kids, and I…” What. Don’t want kids? Don’t know how to deal with them? Kalinda rolls her eyes. “What’re we talking about here?” Kalinda gives Will an almost pitying look. “She’s separated from her husband.” “What?” The camera comes very close to Will’s face. Holy crap, the intensity! “Alicia. She’s separated from Peter.”
Damn, I’m really glad they switched camera angles to profile here, because I couldn’t handle that.
Once more, Kalinda folds up her notebook to go. Will’s silent at first. “It’s not…” Kalinda turns at the door.”There are too many issues.” He gets up off the leather couch, suddenly decisive. “I know,” she shrugs, “there always are.”
“Why? Why’d they separate?” Kalinda’s unsurprisingly mum. “It’s not common knowledge, so don’t tell her I told you so.” That’s all she’s got. “I won’t tell her anything,” Will declares passionately. Sure. Okay. “You know best,” Kalinda lies.
Classical music wafts through marble halls. Alicia, a priestess in black, blazes through the pastel army. Jackie, primly attired in a lavendar jacket, sits with other elderly women garbed in blue, yellow and pink. Oh God. “Full confession. At one point early in the race I actually thought Peter could lose.” OMG, smackdown at the ladies auxiliary or garden club or whatever the hell they call this pastel hell! I adore the contrast of Alicia in her severe, square necked black suit. It’s like she’s clergy come for the exorcism. Jackie leaps to her feet, thrilled to have someone to show off. Alicia’s exquisitely polite. But once she’s agreed to talk to her daughter in law, Alicia stalks off, leaving Jackie mid introduction.
Jackie, finding her daughter in law in an arched hallway, makes chatters about the surprise of the visit. Alicia’s not in the mood. David Lee told her she could go to her limit, and she’s going to. “Jackie, when you want to come to my home, you will call me. If you can’t get me, call my assistant. If you can’t get her, try again.” Jackie almost steps back. “Why’re you so upset, Alicia?” “Jackie, do you hear my voice, do I sound upset?” “No,” Jackie admits, “but these words are so… hostile.” And whose fault is that? You couldn’t leave well enough alone, could you? “Jackie, the next time you try to turn my children against me, I will keep them permanently off limits to you.” Jackie’s shocked. “I didn’t try to. I tried to explain, because no one else is explaining.” Damn it, I hate to agree with Jackie about something (surely this must be the first) but no on IS explaining. She’s an icy old beauty queen, but that bit is not off base. “Jackie. I have come to understand that you need to hear things two times to absorb them. So the next time you try to turn my children against me…” “So disrespectful,” Jackie mutters, looking at the floor. “I watched over them.” “Yes,” says Alicia evenly, “and thank you. That’s why I’m not cutting you off immediately.”
“They’re Peter’s children, too,” Jackie insists. “Yes,” Alicia agrees, “but they’re not yours.” Well. It’s true, but you didn’t make converts out of the people who think you’re cold, Alicia, not this week. “He’ll get custody,”Jackie threatens. “That’s unlikely,” Alicia counters. “He’s the State’s Attorney!” “Who banged a hooker 18 times. Let’s see where that ends up.” Ha! I love it. “Oh, my God, you’re awful.” “I know,” Alicia the shark agrees. “The next time you wanna see your grandchildren, you call first!” Alicia hisses, spins on her heels and walks away.
“I know what happened in your house!” Jackie calls out, suddenly unafraid of eavesdroppers. What on earth? What does she know, and when did she learn it? Does she mean the apartment, or the old house? It sounds like it must be a secret of Alicia’s; how likely is it she’d let something get out that would damage her son or grandchildren, like her theory that Grace might be a lesbian? Would she really use Grace that way? But what could there be in that house about Alicia herself? Alicia turns slowly. “I was your housekeeper, you know.” Alicia crinkles her eyes, puzzled. “I have no idea what that means,” she says. And she means it.
Ah, Nancy sure does like to doodle; she’s paying much more attention to the rather elaborate design on her legal pad than to Will’s cross examination of the valet. She looks very pretty in orange, doesn’t she? Just a little ball of sunshine. Will’s got Kalinda’s doctored photo and has gotten the valet to identify it before dramatically revealing that it’s Dana Briglio’s car. Nancy nearly falls off her chair. At least some part of you was paying attention, chickie. She slowly levers herself up as Cary frowns from the gallery. “Objection, your Honor.” Judge Cyril reverts to Ira form. “O-kay, on what grounds?” She looks stumped. “Relevance?” Will laughs. “What, are they suggesting that Mrs. Briglio killed her own husband?” “Uh, yeah,” Will snorts. Awesome. “That’s exactly what we’re suggesting, thank you, Miss Crozier.”
Nancy squints at Will in disbelief. “That’s ridiculous!” “No more ridiculous than suggesting our client did it,” Will retorts. Ha. Now, don’t get me wrong, I hate the way the whole “bring me a suspect, any suspect” strategy plays out, calling out someone they usually know is innocent – but this was pretty funny. “I think I have to overrule that, Miss Crozier. You introduced the car evidence. They should be allowed the opportunity to refute it.” Cary and Nancy sigh.
Alicia takes up the refuting next with the detective, getting him to admit that the carpet fibers are incredibly common and that it’s possible they could come from the victim’s own home. Well, Cary, if you wanted a forum to test how good your evidence was, you’ve certainly gotten it. Will tags back in and forces the computer cafe dude to admit that he doesn’t know all the cafe’s clients; since the Briglios lived as close to the cafe as the Englers, he can’t rule out her having gone there. Stephanie looks hopeful, and Cary leaves in a huff. It must be said, however, that he’s smizing in a rather respectful way. Well done, adversaries.
“Good job,” Will tells a beaming Alicia. “Really good job, I love seeing Nancy Crozier’s face.” Alicia laughs in delight. They’re sitting across from each other in the conference room; rather large room to pick for a tete a tete, no?. “Yeah,” she agrees, “thanks.” His gaze deepens, becomes more serious. “Everything okay?” “Everything’s good,” she says, and it doesn’t look like a lie, which is interesting. And surprising. How’s he? “Okay… you know.” What does that mean? And again, I felt like he’d be making some sort of comment here about Tammy and their odd situation, but he doesn’t. “If you ever want to talk…” “Sure,” she beams, suppressing a smile. Poorly suppressing a smile. Really, she might as well be smiling. “Good,” he replies, utterly baffled. “I’m here.”
“Oh, Kalinda, good.” Will notices Kalinda’s arrived; she’s behind Alicia, but at the mention of her name, Alicia stiffens. If she were a cat she’d have just doubled in size. “I want you to prep Alicia on her questioning of Dana tomorrow. Thanks!” He gathers his things and leaves. Oh, man.
The two women face off in the enormous room. “Okay, uh, I’m still tracing down PrettySpecial9’s avatar, it – it seems to be part of a a bigger picture, possibly two overlapping drawings. I still haven’t found a match.” Alicia does not respond. She does not look up. “Do you want me to get someone else to brief you?” Kalinda asks lowly. “You mean someone who hasn’t slept with my husband?” gee, Alicia. When you decide to speak your mind, you really speak your mind. Not saying she doesn’t deserve it, but wow. Kalinda considers for a moment.
“Yes, you’re in pain, Alicia. I hurt you. Now do you want to know the facts?” “Of what?” Alicia replies. Somehow it sounds like she’s spitting in Kalinda’s face. “I slept with him once.” Alicia looks away in disgust. “Now, I do that. It means nothing to me, but I do that.” Kalinda can see she’s not getting through. “Look, Alicia, I didn’t know you. I’d never even seen a picture of you.” Hmm, which means Peter didn’t have one in his office. Interesting. “To me you were just the housewife.” Alicia gives that excuse the snort it deserves. “Then I met you and I liked you. I liked working with you. I liked talking with you.” One side of the table is sad, vulnerable; the other, still angry and bitter. I don’t think it’s an accident that Alicia spends this episode in black. Yes, she wears a lot of black, but part of this is her in mourning. Or as a ninja out for revenge. Either way. “I felt bad. I don’t like feeling bad.” Alicia looks, and there’s power and tension and rage curling under her tone. “Every step of the way, you just looked at me.” You can hear the explosion coming. “And you knew.” Yes. “And I’m an idiot. I never once thought that you were my friend out of some guilt. Out of some guilty welfare for poor little me.”
“That’s not why.” Is it me, or is Kalinda’s whole voice different, like this side of her is just so foreign that she can’t even express these feelings in her normally smooth, measured, insinuating way? “I don’t have friends, Alicia.” Alicia snorts again. “You were a friend.” “And you lied to me!” Alicia counters – but some of Kalinda’s words must have made a difference, because we hear more hurt than anger here. “You said ‘that’s not true’, about being with him.” “Yes.” Alicia waits for an explanation here. “I’m sorry.” Wrong answer, Kalinda. Why not say that you knew it would hurt her and you felt awful but you shouldn’t have lied? Too straightforward? Alicia’s anger comes surging back. “Okay. Glad we got that cleared up,” she sneers. ‘I’m not explaining to just…” but Alicia cuts Kalinda off. “How was my husband, was he good?” DAMN. OUCH. Alicia stares Kalinda down, very street. Kalinda looks like she’s ready to cry.
“Um, I found another job. I’ll be leaving next week.” Alicia continues her aggressive staring. “Gooood,” Alicia hisses, lingering over the sounds. Ouch.
Over in his office, Will notices Kalinda staggering out of the conference room like a zombie, and Alicia sighing and resting her head on her hand. He squints. Come on, Will. Show us your crack observational powers.
Kalinda rushes into the library, and sweeps a large legal text off the table, giving in to her own rage and frustration. A hapless assistant wanders in, only to have Kalinda howl “Get out!” – which she does as if slapped. Ouch. But like Alicia, she channels her furor into work. She snaps open her laptop, and runs some sort of image recognition program over PrettySpecial9’s avatar. Except, wouldn’t you call this a userpic? Isn’t an avatar an actual drawing of a person/creature that stands in for you? Do body parts count as an avatar? Just wondering. Anyway, her search results in a lot of images of lipsticked lips. This one is too plump, that one too purple, and that mouth is closed. She and Alicia remain aware of each other, catching glimpses through the glass walls of the office. And – ah ha! That’s the right one, and she’s right, it’s a clip from a larger image – the odd bump is lipstick. It’s a match! It’s a photo or ad from the Fresno Star; Kalinda uses FactSwim (hey, nice to see that fake site again) to check out the Fresno Star, and I’m too puzzled by the fact that Fresno is in California to follow the connections here at first, but it turns out that a contributing editor of the Fresno Star? Is Alex Engler. She clicks and confirms. Alex Engler, acclaimed journalist, and husband of web entrepreneur Stephanie Engler.
OH. Didn’t see that one coming.
Stephanie Engler sits, nun-like in royal blue, in L&G’s main conference room. “What?” she asks, clearly aware that something’s off. “Well,” Diane begins, looking to Will, who gives her the go ahead, “we’re still confirming, but … we think your husband is PrettySpecial9.” Stephanie blinks. Will picks up the thread. “We think that he was the one who wrote to Sean Biglio, and arranged that last… date.” Her eyes whipping between the name partners, Stephanie makes no effort to conceal her complete and utter shock. “We just think you should be forewarned.” Stephanie’s gaze is drawn to her husband, out in the waiting room. “Wait – what?”
Diane takes the narrative back. “Our investigator thinks it probably was your car skidding away from the St. Martin on the night of the murder, but your husband was driving it.” Still the blankly puzzled look. Will chimes in about the carpet fibers probably also being from her house. She so doesn’t hear him. Diane takes the last of the evidence accumulated against Stephanie in court; the Copy Crater dude identified Mr. Engler by photo as a customer. “You’re our client, Stephanie – Alex isn’t. That’s why we wanted to tell you.” Crazy. Stephanie stares and stares at her husband. Well, it would be pretty shocking to hear that your spouse is quite possibly a castrating murderer. Her brows crinkle. “But why?” she shrugs. “Why did he do it?” Will interprets her question. “Yes.”
“He was jealous,” Alicia says quietly, triumphantly. Stephanie head swivels again. “Well, yes,” Diane offers. “The violence of the crime scene, the castration, suggests some passionate emotion.” “He was jealous,” Stephanie repeats. “Yes,” Alicia – vindicated – confirms. “Did you talk to him about sleeping with the victim?” “Yeah,” Stephanie nods, but she bites her lip before going forward. “But…I didn’t think he cared.” Hmm. That tone was interesting. She thought he didn’t care who she messed around with, or she didn’t fundamentally think he cared about her? “So Mrs. Engler, as your lawyers we would advise you to create some distance between you and your husband.” Stephanie’s not listening to Diane. She’s mesmerized. “It’s legally smart, but it might also be safer.” Will notes. Diane begins to explain more tactics, saying that it makes them more culpable for the lawsuit, but Stephanie’s not listening; she stands, bolts from her seat, runs through the office, and launches herself at her husband, shaking his by his lapels. And then she kisses him so passionately he half falls back into his chair.
“Okay.” Will says calmly. “That didn’t go the way I thought.”
“She’s in love,” Alicia observes.
Fine, says Diane. Negotiate with Crozier and try to minimize the damage.
“You clearly got Will Gardner’s attention,” Sophia tells Kalinda as they walk into an empty cubicle farm. “He asked me how much I offered you, and I figure this is when you tell me you’re staying put. That was your plan, right? To get his bid up?” Kalinda looks over at the blond. “You think I’ve been using you?” Sophia shrugs. “It wouldn’t be the first time.” Ouch. Deserved, but ouch. “Hey, my case is done,” Kalinda says, gesturing at her business suit and wiggling her eyebrows. “I can start Monday.” Okay, Sophia replies as they walk into her tiny office. “Then you’ll have to hit the ground sprinting. You’re going to be going back to the State’s Attorney’s office.”
The look on Kalinda’s face… I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything shock her before. Sophia’s checking her phone and misses the expression. “Yeah, we just closed a deal with them, it’s easier on their budget to contract out.” Oh, poor Andrew. That’s too bad. Even if he turned out to be a blind crusader, he was still a really fascinating character. Could Peter have figured him out as the source of the bombshell and punished him for it? I wouldn’t be shocked by the holding against, anyway. “I want you to be my top dog over there.” Sophia looks like she’s offering Kalinda a gift, but didn’t they already establish that Kalinda didn’t choose to go back there? Kalinda laughs an aching, sad little laugh. “I guess that’s funny?” Sophia wonders from her swiveling swivel chair. “For Peter Florrick?” Kalinda needlessly confirms. Yes, of course for Peter Florrick. “He’s bringing everyone back.” Kalinda collapses with giggles.
Next we see her – in a different outfit – sitting opposite Will. “I’m staying,”she says, without preamble. “Good. I need you on the judge murder.” He jerks his chin toward the conference room. She reaches for her notebook, sitting on his desk. “So what was that about, your little three day walk about?” Will wonders. “I wanted to leave. Now I don’t. You want me to stay?” “I do,” he confirms. “Kay,” she says.
“Is this about Alicia,” he guesses shrewdly. “Is what about Alicia?” Kalinda’s so deadpan. “You leaving,” he presses. “I’m not leaving,” she shrugs. Nice. He smiles in appreciation of her deft evasion, and she smiles back.
“At some point, Kalinda, you’re going to have to confide in someone.” They exchange a long look. “No, I don’t. You know what I discovered? I never have to confide in anyone.” She leaves with a smile, but the bitterness of voice tells Will he’s on to something, and leaves him chewing on the mystery.
Kalinda’s next stop is the conference room, where Diane is briefing quite a throng. “The only client harder to represent than a cop killer is a judge killer.” Hmm, interesting, have they ever set up a new case like this in the episode before? More than just mentioning Murphy-Gomes, that is. “And forget the adjective “alleged” – everyone thinks our client did it.” Alicia notices Kalinda’s arrival; the latter sits down and readies her pen with a challenging smirk. Ouch! “This judge was a beloved figure, which means we’re the bad guys, so don’t expect any help from outside these offices. This is a high profile, heavy coverage trial, and Childs is going to make it his swan song. So I want everyone to put his or her life on hold for the next two weeks…”
And we fade to black over Diane’s words.
Sigh. That was kind of an unsatisfying ending; we got the big emotional scene in the beginning (which has also been shown online before the episode aired). And really, a less than perfect case. Sarah Silverman did quite well, and I enjoyed it, but I’m not so jazzed about the resolution. I don’t get why the husband picked this particular liaison to go psycho on, especially when his wife didn’t enjoy it. Like I said, he seems to be the submissive, so I’m not even sure why she would have felt threatened by him in a way that triggered her husband’s protective instincts. I mean, if you were going to kill your wife’s paramour, wouldn’t you go after one she was compatible with? I didn’t know, I don’t get it. And like Will, I’m kind of annoyed with the lawsuit to begin with. I adore seeing Crozier and being annoyed by her, though. Yay, too, to the thought of Childs! I’d love to see him one more time. Should we assume, btw, that Wendy had to quit? Yeah, we should. I hope we run into her as a defense attorney, though. She was great.
Generally it wasn’t as searing as last week, though the scenes with Kalinda were really fierce. Maybe it’s just that we ended thinking about next week’s case, so it didn’t feel like the episode close? Yes, that might be my issue. I’m sure it was never a real issue, but it’s such a relief that Kalinda’s not leaving. Fascinating to learn that the myopic Mr. Wiley is likely now without a job. Unless the moderately interesting Kelly Giddish is going to hire him? Perhaps he’ll come and be part of Kalinda’s department of investigators now. (Hah!) Can you imagine Kalinda going back to the State’s Attorney’s office? Crazy. That was good laugh. Although, genuinely, it would have been fascinating to a sort of dark triumvirate arrayed against Alicia – Peter, Cary and Kalinda. The vision of that caught my breath, in fear and in excitement. But then, perhaps that’s what that last look means. Are Kalinda and Alicia now enemies? Will they actively work against each other? I hate that. I don’t want any of them to hate Alicia.
We have a clear set up of what’s next; the fight for custody. Presumably that’ll keep us busy for much of season 3. Which is going to be rocky if next week’s previews really show what they purport to show. I know not everyone watches the previews, so I won’t go into it, but I will say, instead of being excited, all I can think of is that it’s actually horrible timing.
You know, every time Will got his phone out, I expected him to have some sort of message from Tammy. What’s up with that? Why was she continually calling him before, with him looking for messages from her, and now, silence? Did she go to London after all? Does that actually mean something, or do the writers just not want us to think about her right now? Are we just going to forget about her until next season?
Question for you lawyers out there; is it normal for name partners to second chair at trials? Trials they trust associates to argue? Does that seem right? I know, it’s taken me two seasons to figure out this probably is not realistic. Sigh.
I apologize. I can see my reflections here are disjointed, but I don’t know that I have anything consistent to say. It’s all a kaleidoscope of pain and confusion, all unsettled. Really, I’m just waiting for next week. Then perhaps I can make sense of things. How about you? Do you feel as out of sync as I do?